Post written by Pure Pest Management of Chatham.
When enjoying the beautiful outdoors on Cape Cod, the last thing families want to deal with are pesky mosquitoes. Not only are the bites irritating and sometimes painful, but the diseases they transmit can be life threatening –especially to young children. The team at Pure realizes the importance of mosquito control, but has been concerned that the community is using chemicals and toxins that are harmful to both humans and the environment. That’s why we assembled a list of simple, natural ways families can reduce the mosquito population on their properties safely and responsibly.
Eliminate standing or slow moving water sources.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow moving water. They can also breed on leaf litter that is likely to collect water. Check your gutters, tires, kids’ toys, and empty kiddie pools after use.
Grow repelling plants in your garden.
Citronella, horsemint, marigolds, ageratum, and catnip are natural mosquito repellents and also have other beneficial properties like attracting honeybees and other pollinators to your garden. Learn more about these plants from EarthEasy.com.
Avoid outdoors during dusk until dawn.
Just when you want to enjoy an evening barbecue, mosquito activity reaches its peak. If you can’t avoid being outdoors, wear long pants and sleeves to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Keep gutters clean and unclogged.
Be sure your downspouts drain properly, without leaving puddles in the drainage area. Remove leaves or debris that may collect standing water.
Install or repair screens.
Do not let mosquitoes enter your home. Make sure windows and doors have tightly-fitted screens and make sure there are no holes mosquitoes can get through.
Use an off-the-shelf or homemade natural insect repellent.
From repellent soaps to essential oils, you can repel mosquitoes without the use of DEET and other harmful chemicals. Here is a great list from The Daily Green.
Create a breeze.
Mosquitoes are considered “weak flyers” so set up a fan where you are sitting to disrupt the airflow and blow mosquitoes away from you and your family.
Neatly trim plants and keep your lawn mowed.
During the day, mosquitoes like to rest in cool, shaded areas often in plants. By keeping plants on your property neatly trimmed and your lawn mowed, mosquitoes have fewer places to rest and are more likely to leave your property.
If your mosquito problem seems uncontrollable, then it is a good time to consider an organic property treatment. These treatments are often applied routinely throughout the season or can be sprayed prior to an event to reduce or eliminate the mosquito populations. Organic treatments are safe for humans, pets, and the environment. When considering an organic solutions provider, be sure to ask if the product is mixed with chemicals like Permethrin or DEET. If so, these treatments are NOT organic.
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE) have already been found in Massachusetts this year. Even though no human cases have been reported, this is the best time to be proactive by educating yourself, your family, and your community. Speak with your doctor about the signs and symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses, and take the necessary precautions to keep the outdoor environment around your home safe.
We hope you have a fun and safe end to your summer!
Cape Cod Moms